Gdansk – 11

On 4th June, 1989 the Solidarity Civil Committee contested 35% of the seats in the Polish Parliament, the Sejm and all the seats in The Senate. Solidarity obtained 161 seats in the Sejm, the maximum possible, and 99 out of 100 in The Senate. For some reason, Piotra Baumgarta didn’t find favour with the voters,Continue reading “Gdansk – 11”

Gdansk – 10

Another shocking event which placed the authorities in a bad light, was the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko a staunch anti-Communist Catholic priest. After completing his secondary education, Jerzy Popieluszko attended a seminary in Warsaw. He served his army duties in a special force designed to dissuade young men from becoming priests. This had noContinue reading “Gdansk – 10”

Gdansk – 9

Although the authorities were hoping to reduce the effectiveness of the Gdansk Agreement for workers’ rights in Poland, a number of different situations conspired against them. The first was the film Man of Iron by the Polish Andrzey Wajda, about the shipyard strike of 1980, which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes in 1981. TheContinue reading “Gdansk – 9”

Gdansk – 8

The next room moves on to 1980. An economic crisis led to the Communist government authorizing an increase in food prices for the summer of 1980. Once again a revival of labor disturbances erupted throughout the nation. Workers of the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk went on strike in mid-August, sparked by the firing of AnnaContinue reading “Gdansk – 8”

Gdansk – 5

The exhibits then contrast the ordinary nature of some people’s lives with the extraordinary events taking place in the Communist countries of the Eastern Bloc. Some events such as the Hungarian uprising of 1956 when Imre Nagy withdrew his country from the Warsaw Pact, the raising of the Berlin Wall on 13th August 1961, andContinue reading “Gdansk – 5”

Gdansk – 4

I rarely use audio guides, but I must recommend them at the European Solidarity Centre as the information provided was clear, concise, and fitted in almost perfectly with what I saw. This may seem obvious but there is so much information to process that you have to concentrate all the time during the visit. InContinue reading “Gdansk – 4”

Gdansk – 3

I stayed at a hotel close to the station as I was moving on by train to Torun in a couple of days. Rather than heading to the reconstructed Old Town I first walked to a large monument visible over the tops of the trees and buildings. Anchors were suspended at the top of threeContinue reading “Gdansk – 3”

Gdansk – 2

Gdansk airport is named after Lech Walesa and if visitors don’t know much about this man before they arrive then they will know a lot by the time they leave, especially if they visit the European Solidarity Centre, which is about 500 metres from Gdansk Glowny by the entrance to the shipyards.This museum is anContinue reading “Gdansk – 2”

Northern Ireland and Scotland

My new book is called: Travels through History – Northern Ireland and Scotland  Belfast and the Causeway Coast has been rated best region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet praised its “timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks. The region mayContinue reading “Northern Ireland and Scotland”